“Birds that flock together appear to learn faster and increase their chances to evolve and survive.” www.britishbirdlovers.co.uk
We may have never flocked so tightly and numerously together as a species as we do in this internet/social media age and this is what we come up with! Where did humans go wrong?
The quote above refers to blue tits’ versus robins’ learned ability to pierce the aluminium foil bottle tops (when they were still in use) to reach the nutrient rich cream at the top of the bottle and then passing on the skill to others. The point here is that the blue tits’ intelligence and copying skills were put to good use, out of necessity and not for frivolous reasons. Unlike that of participants in Neknominate, the online drinking game.
With even a Wikipedia page to its name this craze requires ‘neknominees‘ to drink a pint of alcohol at one go while being filmed. After uploading the footage to the web the participant must nominate two others to do the same. The game escalated to nominees drinking absurd concoctions of alcohol and/or in extreme circumstances or places in a bid to outdo each other.
This has resulted in quite a few deaths from alcohol poisoning and people getting hurt, obviously. Those who thought selfies were the scourge of social media platforms have an other think coming.
Social media platforms, however, are only vehicles being used for staging (read glamourising) the mentality of a group of people a few slices short of a full loaf. How do we get to this stage? Who or what has eaten up those crucial missing slices of a person’s brain? Or should I say soul? Are we so disconnected from reality and nature that we are self-destructing en masse now?
It is one thing hearing about an isolated case of some cult in Arizona jumping off a cliff to their deaths and quite an other when it becomes an online craze spreading from Australia to the UK and globally. How have we become so impressionable that anything goes? (I’m quite sure this wouldn’t even have gotten a mention in Cole Porter’s number as this goes beyond simply absurd or risqué.)
Progress invariably brings new problems. Neknominate happens to be a con among all the pros that come with social media. What is worrisome is far deeper than that, raising issues like respect for life, short-sightedness in the grand scheme of things and our place in nature, no exposure to the birth-and-death life cycle, a lack of humility in the face of nature.
Concerned people and friends/relatives of Neknominees who didn’t live to reap the rewards (what reward?) of their dare set up a Ban Neknominate Page. Parents in the 50s really had nothing to worry about by concerning themselves with Elvis’s pelvic thrusts.